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Wow! Thanks so much for all the ideas. This does surprise me. You're right, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I DON"T know about publishing.

I agree about not wanting to pigeonhole the story, but I also know that it's important to be able to describe it in terms of what the agents/publishers want. And yes, according to the one agent, a modern "thriller" would be international normally, but definitely take place over a series of locations. I know from the bookstore that Pit & Pendulum is considered a "Classic."   

So my concerns about "police procedural" are same as yours: it sounds dull...but maybe not to publishing people?  The story places much more emphasis on interpersonal relationships and the inside information brought in by this mole, but yes, they're building a case to be presented in court.  Mostly "off-camera," they follow fiber evidence, semen samples, knife marks in human tissue, forensic pathology to show how the injuries were inflicted, reconstruction of the crime scene, and even an FBI serial crime expert who delves briefly into the mind of the killer. These things are mentioned in passing, and I did my research--I hope well enough--to ensure they're accurate, but they are NOT emphasized. 

Mystery/suspense sounds really good, but I'm not sure I can claim suspense...maybe?  I'm certainly not Dean Koontz! (Though I would love HIS publishing contract--wouldn't we all?)

Warm regards,


P.S. any further guidance or input is welcome



The publisher decides on the name of the knothole to put your book in, not you. You describe your story to the perspective publisher, not how you think it should be marketed. In a synopsis all of your words should be devoted to the actual story. Don't worry about a genre or niche. Many books can be put into more than one category and it's just not worth getting grey hair over. Just tell them it's a mystery.

Your friendly grey haired mystery writer,

Thanks Elena!  You are always so helpful.  Lucie

Constant monitoring because the web has to offer to the common good.


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